Released: 2017, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Firewind, now there's a band I hadn't tried in a while. I'm familiar with them, have an album or two around, but hadn't listened to them properly in years. Going into this, I was pretty sure of what to expect...and that’s more or less just what I got. In terms of genre, this is very much your standard power metal fare: Iron Savior, Dream Evil, Primal Fear, power metal with a hard-rocking core and a focus on melodic hooks over symphonic ostentation.
But being what you'd expect in genre isn't necessarily a bad thing, and doesn't have to mean anything in terms of quality. These certainly are quality songs. They're to the point, knowing exactly what they want to do and doing it well. Gus' blistering lead work is a treat as ever, but doesn't come across as too flashy or overly dominating the songs. It fits in well where it needs to, nothing more.
Lyrically Immortals is all about power, pride, determination, how true your steel is, all that good stuff. The cheese-factor could be higher, we've not hit Manowar levels by any means, although the opening narration of "Ode to Leonidas" tries, putting me in mind of Rhapsody's pre-Christopher Lee narration. The keyboard-driven opening to "Back on the Throne" has an almost Europe-y feel to it, though that’s no bad thing, and both songs follow up their intros with the heart-pounding metal. "Rise from the Ashes", "War of Ages" and "Hands of Time" are probably the best songs here, they just work wonderfully in getting the audience roaring and soaring along.
The fact is, these are good songs. It might be a predictable album, but it's predictably good. Firewind clearly give a damn. It’s lively, passionate, empowered and empowering. While it might not be a real departure from what they’ve done in the past, that isn’t to say it's without worth. It feels genuine, an honest and largely successful attempt to make a fine metal record. That goes a long way even if it isn’t the most original thing you’ll hear this year.